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Japan’s Initiatives for Deepening Cooperation with Other Countries in the Areas of Defense Equipment and Technology

By Masanori Ono Visiting Fellows

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Preface

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who came to power in the December 16, 2012 general election and formed his second administration together with the Komeito Party, has promoted a substantial change in Japan’s national security policy. Key policy initiatives of the Abe government include the establishment of the National Security Council, formulation of the National Security Strategy[1], formulation of new National Defense Program Guidelines, and modification of the legal basis for national security.

The National Security Council was established on December 4, 2013. One of the first substantive decisions taken by the National Security Council was the formulation of Japan’s first National Security Strategy. This Strategy defines national security as centering on diplomacy and defense, covers a wide range of related national security issues and sets forth a “proactive contribution to peace based on the principle of international cooperation” as a Japan’s fundamental approach to national security.

In accordance with this principle, the Japanese government is ordered to contribute more proactively to peace and international cooperation including the utilization of defense equipment, participation in joint development and production of defense equipment, and other related activities In recent years, in line with this requirement for a proactive contribution to peace, the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MOD) has been implementing a variety of measures. In this report, This report will describe the fundamental ideas and contents of new acquisition policies, cooperation between Japan and other countries in the areas of defense equipment and technology, and examine measures to effectively strengthen the alliance
between Japan and the U.S.

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